Aston Villa climbed above Arsenal by one point into fourth place after the Gunners drew with Middlesbrough while Villa beat Bolton. However Arsene Wenger still harbours hope of the Premier League title while Aston Villa are seen to be chasing just a fourth placed finish despite being in front.
Arsenal were defeated by Villa at home 2-0 but the Gunners showed how good they can be by already beating Chelsea and Man Utd with Liverpool next. Former Tottenham manager Martin Jol feels the Birmingham side are better than Arsenal already and will claim the pricless fourth spot. Big words you may think but should fans be worried?
“Aston Villa are better than Arsenal and next season Villa will be playing in the Champions League.” Martin Jol Hamburg manager
It says enough of Arsenal’s quality that most teams play defensively against the Gunners and indeed also did the Villains. It will be interesting if they and likely that they will, apply the same tactics of counter attacking Arsenal when the two clash before January. Playing their natural game Aston Villa are likely to be beaten, underlying Arsenal’s superior ability.
With Young and Milner on the flanks they will cause trouble for any team and as they are young, are ever improving. The former put in the same bracket as Messi by his manager and although in terms of individual skill he is not there yet, in terms of the contribution made in matches there is a case. Milner’s industry yet to be fully appreciated. He is one of the most determined players; talented cross country runner, single-handicaped golfer and teetotal.
Gareth Barry, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Curtis Davies, Martin Laursen are other influential players. The team looks likely to push Arsenal all the way this season, every game ever important, not letting any team getting in their way of acheiving the semingly impossible fourth place spot.
The make up of the squad is unlikely to change over the coming seasons as the young English players will improve however there are still frailties in the squad but have the money to address these. The 0-0 draw against Fulham highlighting their lack of firepower and two goals and the defensive cover can be suspect at times, making for what is likely to be more than the fair share of points dropped.
Arsenal are improving slowly and next year is expected to be a greater step if not already this season. The potential is huge but the threat from sides around them especially with cash to spare could be an even bigger. Manchester City and Tottenham the most likely to push on next season with Villa.
The match against Liverpool may answer some questions about Arsenal and in turn ask a few. Breaking down a compact and tactically driven (Liverpool article coming soon) Liverpool side will ask why doesn’t this happen against ‘smaller’ sides and the mentality of the players. There is more motivation for this game which needs to be applied against other sides. Sometimes even belief goes beyond ability….